Macedonian Foreign Minister: Our Priorities are Negotiations and Lifting of the Bulgarian BlockadeDiplomacy | January 3, 2022, Monday // 16:04| views
We envisage intensive talks with Bulgaria, but the new government in Skopje must be voted on first. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is currently working on the topics that will be discussed during the next meeting. This was stated by the Foreign Minister of the Republic of North Macedonia Bujar Osmani during today's press conference, at which he presented the country's priorities as the future rotating chairman of the OSCE in 2023.
He said the aim is to return relations between Sofia and Skopje to a normal European track, restore trust, and a common commitment to overcoming existing challenges, BGNES reported.
Asked whether Skopje would insist on the Bulgarian declaration undergoing changes in order to withdraw the veto on the start of negotiations, the minister said it was an internal matter of Bulgaria.
"Bulgaria's attitude to the negotiations is important to us. It is important that we return to the European and Euro-Atlantic course. Bulgaria has supported the enlargement process since the beginning of its membership in the European Union. Enlargement is not only our interest but also our geostrategic interest for the whole EU. We expect to continue the talks, starting from this position", the Minister emphasized.
We expect constructive talks with the new government of Bulgaria, talks on the real issues on the table, and a quick unblocking of the negotiation process.
Regarding Edi Rama's intention to separate Albania and RN Macedonia, Osmani stressed that the Albanian prime minister's statement was quoted incorrectly. "He said they would ask the citizens, not that Albania had decided to demand separation from RN Macedonia. There is no requirement for countries to join the EU in groups."
Grouping is an informal political decision and each country negotiates based on its own progress. It just gives a greater regional dynamic. I believe that the grouping is in the interest of both countries, as Skopje now has a problem, but in 2019 the situation was different - then Tirana had problems with progress.
Macedonia is in the troika of the OSCE chairmanship, along with Sweden and Poland. Skopje will chair the organization in 2023, and this year, probably in Skopje, it will host a meeting of Mediterranean countries.
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